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JD Roth on Age of Love

Published June 4, 2007 in Television
By Fred Topel | Image property of NBC.
J.D. Roth JD Roth
Finally, a dating show that I can get into. I've only dated older women since I've finished college, yet for some reason that's still odd to people. Yet they complain when men date drastically younger women. NBC's dating show Age of Love will confront that issue by sending a 30-year-old bachelor to date both women in their 20s and 40s. I'm pulling for the MILFs.

Interview: JD Roth on Age of Love

"The way we came up with the show, at my age now I get a babysitter one night a week and go out with all the couples and I always listen to what the wives are talking about because they're always reading every magazine, watching Oprah," said producer JD Roth. "They all know what's going on. So they're all talking about how they could get a guy 25. No problem. They're all around 40. I got into the conversation, like, 'No, you can't. You're a 40 year old woman. You're not getting a 25 year old guy.' And a lot of times, you know, that's how you create shows, so I'll stir the pot a little bit, get them a little worked up and it's easy to do. When you start talking about what's going on in pop culture, you realize there is no age of love, that sort of the new accepting way of society is that love is just about a connection between two people. It doesn't matter how tall someone is, short, thin, fat. It's just chemistry between two people, it's just love."

Then the women say, "Okay, why not one woman and older and younger men?" Well, Roth is getting to that. "I'll tell you this. I've had three shows that have all found relationships, two of which, that wasn't the objective. You know, Biggest Loser at the worst, highest weight and most miserable that they've ever been in their life, they fall in love. And one guy loses almost 200 pounds. The gal loses over 100 pounds. They end up getting married and having babies. You know, we do Beauty & the Geek. Two people who would never even acknowledge each other, and yet, they're in a relationship for nine months. For Love Or Money a girl walked away from a million dollar check in her hand guaranteed after seven dates with a guy. I think that's fascinating to me. That's the human experiment of it all, of putting them in that bio dome and separating them from the world and seeing what happens. The show works, I think they'll flip it obviously."

To facilitate a little Petri dish experience, Roth is keeping the younger and older contestants on different floors of a high-rise, with the man in the middle. "We're going to have a group of 40 year olds who arrive. They're going to get in the elevator and they're living on the 40th floor. And we have a group of 20-year olds who arrive and they live on the 20th floor. And our bachelor is living in between them. So we have the first relationship style show where the bachelor is actually living amongst the women. They can go down and visit if they want to because he's right there. Typically on a show, like I created For Love Or Money, you bring that bachelor and it's like they haven't seen a human being for a long time. But he's going to be around them a lot more."

The first bachelor, tennis star Mark Philippoussis, did not even know the concept going in. "We have no idea whether he would be open to an older woman or a younger woman. That's the best part of my job. You know, I go in every day not knowing what's going to happen. So he may have a real problem with it. He knows it's a dating show, and he is somewhat of a celebrity."

The women don't know either. "They have no idea. In fact, when we were at final casting and this 42-year old woman sit down and she's just beautiful and she has kids and is dating a guy half her age. She's just very fun, great woman. She says, 'Oh, I'm going to be the oldest one here, aren't I?' And I thought, 'No, not by a long shot.'"

For those handicapping the ladies' odds, don't be so quick to favor the younguns. "I guess it depends on where you stand on the issue of age. If you're comfortable with that, if you're a 30-year old guy comfortable with that, then no. If you're a guy who wants to have his own kids and doesn't want kids in the family that are near his age or 18 or 19 years old, then, yeah, it's just a matter of the opinion, right?"

Age of Love premieres June 18 on NBC.

Stay tuned for updates.

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Fred Topel
Sources: Image property of NBC.

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